Peacemakers Trust posts news, reports or announcements of interest to people studying or working in the field of dispute resolution, conflict transformation and peacebuilding. Inclusion of an item on the media watch blog does not imply endorsement or agreement of Peacemakers Trust with views expressed by authors of posted items.
5. See an Introduction to Restorative Justice on the website of Restorative Justice Online. Click on “restorative justice processes” to see some information about victim-offender mediation, restorative justice “conferencing” and other restorative justice practices.
Based in Canada, the Peacemakers’ Round Table aims to provide a Canadian-based international forum for persons interested in advancing scholarship, education and practice in constructive conflict transformation and peacebuilding including mediation, negotiation, dialogue, peacework, human rights protection, good governance, and reconciliation.
Welcoming people from all over the world interested in questions of how to build justice and support effective peaceful ways of addressing conflict, the Round Table includes members of the community from any country and from all walks of life including students, scholars, mediators, facilitators, human rights workers, ombudspersons, peaceworkers, community workers, educators, journalists, artists and others.
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He rests his hands among the wood shavings scattered across a board on his workbench, as if touching the curls and chips reminds him of who he now is a furniture-maker in Goma and, at 17, almost a man. It’s dark inside his shop: he works only with hand tools, as there is no electricity.
But not so long ago, he was a boy fighting a war in Democratic Republic of Congo.
In the second part of his interview to Pepe Escobar, investigative historian and military policy analyst Gareth Porter expands on what awaits Senator Barack Obama when he deals with the power of the national security state. Porter also examines what kind of movement and leader would it take to really try to change a very rigid system, and the proposition of Obama as a new Bobby Kennedy.
Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:40 PST
24 July 2008
Yes, military force alone is clearly insufficient. And yes, negotiations take time and must begin somewhere. But it is wishful thinking to assume that negotiating with insurgents from a position of weakness would stabilise Afghanistan.
By Samina Ahmed
As the insurgency ramps up, support for â€œtalking to the Talibanâ€ in Afghanistan is increasing. Voices in the United Nations and in Europe favour a new set of negotiations between civil society, political parties and the insurgents, and it is a natural reflex to seek a way out of a seemingly intractable conflict by exploring all available political solutions. But while negotiations are credible and acceptable if they help resolve conflict and save lives, that will not be the case in Afghanistanâ€™s current environment.
The problems begin with identifying those who would be involved in a â€œnew dialogue processâ€. Afghan civil society is weak at best, and political parties, which have been completely undermined by lack of domestic and international support, are in no position to lobby or feed constructively into national policy formation. And who would represent â€œthe Talibanâ€?
With the emergence of the internet, online video file sharing and peer-to-peer download services in the last decade, the grip of the big production houses have decreased, and people now have relatively more access than before to a more complex and critical understanding of politics and culture. Documentary films have also played a major role in shaping public opinion, and perceptions of the â€˜Otherâ€™. The Other being non-white people generally, but today specifically focused on Muslims and Islamists which, we are told, do not share or are against â€˜ourâ€™ values.
Perhaps the most well-known example of a documentary film that has shaped public opinion is Michael Mooreâ€™s Fahrenheit 9/11…
Michael Moore and Nick Broomfieldâ€™s [Battle For Haditha] films have been commercial successes. However one is not so sure that they have been successful in assisting their mass audiences in understanding Muslims and their struggles for independence such as in Iraq or Palestine or throughout the Muslim world generally.
Filed under: Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:00 PST
22 July 2008
National Catholic Reporter
By John Dear SJ
Imagine this – a rigged national election. The popular candidate garnered more votes and precincts but still did not win. Now imagine the population refusing to sit back, to throw up their collective hands, to give in to apathy. Such is the story of the “Orange Revolution,” the 2004 presidential election in the Ukraine, a tale with lessons for us.
The Ukrainian people foresaw the worst and when it happened, they nonviolently obstructed the functioning of the government until justice was done. Their story can teach us a thing or two.
An Iranian parliamentary committee has approved in the first reading a controversial draft law that allows men to take a second wife, a bill that women’s rights activists have dubbed the “Antifamily Bill.”
The fierce debate on the bill highlights rising social tensions in Iran, where the hard-line government of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is increasingly targeting women’s rights activists.
The bill, officially known as the Bill to Protect the Family, has been on the table in parliament for years, the subject of seemingly endless revision and debate. The controversial clause that gives men the right to have another spouse without the first wife’s approval was actually laid aside by the previous parliament because of strong opposition from women’s rights activists.